How did Instagram gain its momentum?
When Instagram got its start a little over 11 years ago, it was simply an app for friends to connect, share one photo, put a “Valencia” or “Hefe” filter on it and call it a day. It quickly gained attraction, gaining 25,000 users on day one and by the time Facebook acquired it in spring of 2012, it had around 27 million users. It’s around this time that the fun-photo sharing app started to roll out new features and introduce changes to its users.
The following year, Instagram rolled out 15-second videos onto its platform, a huge change for users. This move was to stay relevant against their biggest competitor at the time, Vine, which had recently been acquired by Twitter. Three years later, Snapchat was big on the scene and Instagram quickly followed suit, adding stories to the app. By this point, influencer marketing was on the rise and brands began paying attention to the industry. With minor tweaks and additions here and there in the coming years, nothing quite rattled the Instagram community quite like Reels did. To stay competitive with TikTok, Instagram introduced 15-second multi-clip video called “Reels” in 2020 and quickly pushed users to make them.
Although faced with pushback, Instagram soon revealed in an announcement from Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, that Instagram would “no longer be a photo sharing platform.” So, what does this mean for this new Instagram that he speaks of?
The importance of video
Despite the hesitancy that Instagram has been met with when it comes to new changes regarding video, it’s apparent that video is the direction everyone is moving in. From a strategic standpoint, the Instagram algorithm favors video, in particular reels. Whenever Instagram launches a new feature, it’s in a users best interest and should be included in an influencer’s strategy to start using it because Instagram favors those who use it, pushing that content to the top. In addition, when you think about society today, everyone wants that quick, instant satisfaction. Videos are easy to consume and are a quick way to get engagement on Instagram without needing someone to have a long attention span.
Changes to Expect
Since Mosseri’s announcement, everyone has been wondering, “is Instagram no longer going to let us post photos?” While there’s no sign as of late that this will ever happen, there are changes on the horizon that have begun taking place that we can anticipate will continue to grow:
1. Monetization of the platform
Earlier this year, Instagram rolled out incentives to pay creators if they use its features. As other social media platforms continue to gain popularity, Instagram will continue to incentivize its users to stay on the platform.
2. Continual push of video
If you’ve been resisting video, there’s no better time to start than now. Video is not going anywhere. It can be intimidating if you’re not used to the medium, but remember it doesn’t have to be perfect; just have fun with it! Adding fun edits can also be a great way to spice up your videos, too.
3. Focus on products/shopping
Back to that instant gratification. Consumers love it. So, the idea of browsing and being able to buy all within a few taps? Instagram was all over it, mimicking the same model Facebook implemented years ago. Now, users can purchase directly on the app, without ever having to leave.
With all the frequent changes, it can feel difficult to know what to plan on Instagram. If you need help working on your influencer strategy, we’re here to help! You can sign up here with our foundation plan to get access to strategy calls and any other support you may need.